Libya: The 'No-fly zone' of the United Nations...
... 'A massive gulf is now opening between what the revolutionary forces expect from NATO and what NATO is willing to give them. And this means that with no end in sight to the war, NATO must decide whether to arm the revolutionaries, target Gaddafi directly or send Western ground troops into Libya' ...
Acting under Chapter VII of the U.N. Charter, which provides for the use of force if needed, the Council adopted Resolution 1973 by 10 votes to zero, with five abstentions, authorizing member states “to take all necessary measures” to protect civilians and civilian populated areas under threat of attack …while excluding an occupation force.”
The resolution follows an arms embargo that the Council imposed last month when it unanimously approved sanctions against Libya, freezing the assets of its leaders and referring the ongoing violence against civilian demonstrators to the International Criminal Court (ICC).
What does the resolution mean?
An U.N.-backed international force will enforce a no-fly zone over Libya which will effectively ground Libya’s military aircraft. All flights — except those for humanitarian purposes — will be banned from Libyan airspace.
This force will also have the power to launch air strikes against Libyan ground forces — from tanks, artillery and missiles to their communications and command and control infrastructure — if they are considered to be a threat against the civilian population.
According to Barak Seener, Research Fellow in Middle Eastern Studies at the Royal United Services Institute (RUSI) in London, the wording in the resolution permitting member states to use “all necessary means” also makes pre-emptive strikes from the air at the regime’s forces legitimate.
“It’s intended to force Gadhafi back and tilt the balance in the rebel’s favor,” he told CNN.
“I think it will embolden protesters across the Arab world as it is a precedent to oppressive regimes. The resolution is saying human rights violations will not go unabated and there will be a response.”
Who backed the Security Council vote?
'No-fly zone': http://articles.cnn.com/2011-03-18/world/libya.military.action.explainer_1_benghazi-security-council-vote-moammar-gadhafi?_s=PM:WORLD